Attributes of young adults’ favorite retail shops: A qualitative study

Kara Chan*, Qiqi Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
126 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the common attributes of brick-and-mortar retail shops liked by young adults in the digitalized retail context. The 7Ps of the marketing mix were used as a framework to shed insights for marketing strategies.

Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative study using personal interviews was designed. A convenience sample of 24 young adults aged 20 to 22 was asked to take photos showing the exterior and interior of their favorite shop in Hong Kong. They were interviewed face to face to explain why they like these shops. Other information about the shopping context, including frequency of visits and whether shopping alone or with friends, was collected.

Findings: The favorite shops of young adults are clothing retailers and stores for snacks. Attributes of favorite shops include stylish product design, variety of choices, cozy physical environment, technology-assisted shopping process, and customer-friendly return policy. Young adults seek taste and artistic presentation in consumption. Self-expression and social communication of consumption play a major role in retail brand love.

Research limitations/implications: The sample size of the study was small and may not be generalizable to populations of different socioeconomic status. A quantitative survey can be conducted to further examine the topic.

Practical implications: The study deepens the understanding of how young adults perceive product, store, and process attributes of shops that are related to retail brand love. Tangible qualities such as product and physical space played a more important role than intangible attributes such as friendly frontline or sales staff. The results imply that retailers need to pay attention to a shop’s product offering, interior design, as well as develop a seamless integration of online and offline shopping processes to engage customers.

Originality/value: There are very few studies of young consumers and retail brand love using qualitative methods. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of young consumers’ perception of the retail stores that they love in the digitalized retail landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-569
Number of pages15
JournalYoung Consumers
Issue number4
Early online date25 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Marketing
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Retail technology
  • Appropriation
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Store loyalty
  • Retail brand love


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